Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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by John David Clark, Sr.
“And they will hear Jezreel.”
Isaiah prophesied that those who trusted in Christ Jesus would be called “trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord” (Isa. 61:3). Using this same metaphor, Jesus said, “Every plant that my heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted.” Then, if we are to have a place in the kingdom of God, we must be planted, or sown, into the kingdom of God by God Himself.
“Jezreel” was the name of an ancient Israelite city, and it is a word that means, “God will sow”, or “the sowing of God”. When Hosea said, “They will hear Jezreel. For I will sow her for me in the land,” he was prophesying of what happened in Acts 2:4, when the seed of God was sown into the hearts of Jesus’ disciples. They were “filled with holy Spirit, and they began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit moved them to speak.” This Pentecostal event was God sowing His seed on the earth, planting men and women into His kingdom. Hosea’s prophecy that people would hear Jezreel was fulfilled when the people heard the Spirit speak in tongues through Jesus’ disciples (Acts 2:6-8).
Hosea’s prophecy of hearing God’s seed being sown is similar to Jesus’ description of the new birth in John 3:8. According to Jesus, the one consistent feature involved in every “new birth” experience is the sound of it. He said, “The wind blows wherever it will, and you hear its sound . . . so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” This is exactly what the disciples experienced on the day of Pentecost, and it is what Hosea foretold when he said, “they will hear the sowing of God [Jezreel].”
One would think that since Jezreel was a city, Hosea would have said, “They will see Jezreel.” But God was not using “Jezreel” as the name of the city but as what the word actually means, “God will sow”. “Jezreel” is something one hears because when God sows His Spirit into someone’s heart, that person begins to speak in tongues, and others hear what God is doing.
That is the “sound” of the wind that Jesus said accompanied every new birth. It is the “baptism of the holy Ghost” which was poured out on Pentecost morning. It is the “stammering lips” of Isaiah 28:11. It is the “pure language” of Zephaniah 3:9. It is Paul’s cry of “Abba, Father” and the “groanings beyond words.” It is Peter’s “answer of a clear conscience”. It is David’s “joyful sound”, which wise men recognize when they hear it. It is John’s “confession that Jesus Christ has come into a person.” It is the “voice from the temple” of God in heaven, the “sound of the Lord rendering recompense to His enemies.” It is the “deep” that “is calling to deep in the sound of [God’s] waterspouts.” It is the “fountain of water springing up into eternal life”. It is the speaking that comes because of believing, foretold in Psalm 116:10. It is the voice of the Son, declaring the name of his Father “in the midst of the congregation” (Ps. 22:22). It is the Spirit “making intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” It is the “testimony of the Lord”, the “blessing of the Lord”, the “sign to unbelievers”, the “manifestation of the Spirit” which is given to every believer “for the common good.” It is the Father “knowing them that are His” and setting them apart as His peculiar people. This is Jezreel, “the sowing of God”. This is the work of God that must be heard, for it “is not coming with observation.” Praise God in the highest!
Humans reproduce by means of human “seed”, but the seed of God is the holy Spirit. God creates sons and daughters by giving them His Spirit. Jesus warned that we “must be born again,” and we are born into the family of God when the Seed of God, the holy Spirit, enters into our hearts, or “baptizes” us into the family of God. Water baptism has nothing to do with it. It is a matter of the heart.
In the Old Testament, a person was an Israelite because he was born an Israelite. In this New Testament, a person becomes part of “the Israel of God” by being born a second time, in spirit. Peter described this as “being born again, not of corruptible [human] seed but of incorruptible, by the word of God, that lives and abides forever” (1Pet. 1:23). Centuries before the Spirit came, Hosea (1:10) prophesied that God would create a new people for Himself, a new kind of Israel:
The number of the sons of Israel will be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered, and it shall come to pass that in the place where it was said to them, “You are not my people,” it will be said to them, “You are the sons of the living God.”
Jesus never married in the flesh, but he has a bride! He never produced any offspring in the flesh, but by the Spirit, he has children (Isa. 8:18). God’s people are His “pleasant plants”, Isaiah said, and every time He sows someone into His vineyard, “the Spirit bears witness”; that is, we “hear Jezreel”. We hear God’s seed, the Spirit, speaking in tongues through the newly-born child of God.
Oh, Jezreel! Jezreel! The beautiful day of the Lord, when He sowed His seed of life in my soul and planted me in His heavenly kingdom!
Jezreel! The sowing of God, the translation of a sinful soul “from the domain of darkness . . . . into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son.” Jezreel, the field of God’s planting, the vineyard of God where men become more than men, and peace is laid to the roots of the trees! The rain of God falls upon Jezreel; the flowers of His tender mercies line the paths to her gates. Oh, Jezreel, the hope of the earth, the gift of God, the fountain of eternal joy! May God ever enlarge your borders, and may your watchmen ever mind their posts without fear. Let the gates of Jezreel be kept secure! Let her virgins dance, and her young men sing for joy! Let Jezreel be heard from the mountaintops, and let the enemies of the Lord tremble at the sound!
Let every heart trust in God and every hand be raised! For God has done according to His word. He has rescued the isles from the seas. God has picked us up and sown us into His kingdom, where He walks in His garden in the cool of the day, and His voice is heard in the gatherings of the saints.
How blessed are we that God has chosen us to be His children! It is only to His glory that He has done that which He purposed to do upon those who knew nothing and cared nothing for Him. “We love him”, John wrote, “because he first loved us.” The foolish often ridicule hungry souls who repent and “ask, seek, and knock” for the baptism of the holy Spirit, but every time that holy seed of God is planted in a heart, another regenerated soul cries out “Abba Father” and Jezreel, God’s sowing, is heard! And when that happens, all who truly know God say together,
by George C. Clark
It was at the Mizpeh conference
Held in Canaan long ago,
That the house of Israel clamored
For a king to fight their foe.
God, we know had fought their battles,
With a strong and mighty hand,
From the days of Egypt’s bondage
To the blessed promised land.
They were given seats of honor
On the soil made free for them.
There they made their strange petition
To be ruled like other men.
How ungrateful to the Master,
Who had saved them by His grace!
Samuel, grieved for all this evil,
Prayed to God upon his face.
“And the Lord said unto Samuel,”
Hearken thou unto their plea.
Let them have a human master,
Since they are not pleased with Me.
Samuel then, with God’s permission,
Poured the oil upon young Saul.
Well he knew it meant disaster,
Yet he hearkened to their call.
When the kings of Israel ended
All their reigning long ago,
Israel was quite in bondage
To the Romans, as we know.
And the King that Samuel hoped for
Came at last to save his own,
Leaving heaven and the angels
Kneeling at the Father’s throne .
But poor Israel refused him
As the King that God should send;
So He took the kingdom from them,
Giving it to other men.
Ah! sweet Israel, my people!
Children of such righteous men!
Glad the day you bow to Jesus!
Glad the day you own him king!